How to Create a Lead Magnet: Your Ultimate Guide

June 13, 2024


Mike O'Rangers

Trying to build an audience for your brand? The best way to do that is to build your email list — and the best way to build your email list is to create a lead magnet.

Maybe you've heard the team lead magnet before but weren't sure what people were talking about. Or, maybe you understand what it is but aren't sure how to put one together and deliver it.

If offering a lead magnet sounds a bit overwhelming, we understand. There are a lot of pieces to consider when putting one together.

Our hope here is to give you as much information as we can to equip you, but also inspire you and show you the steps to create a great freebie to build your audience.

What Is a Lead Magnet

Lead magnet refers to any free item or service someone can get in exchange for their contact information, more specifically, their email addresses.

From a business perspective, you can use all of these collected email addresses to continue marketing to an audience that is already interested in what you offer and is warmed up to your brand.

Your lead magnet gave these people a sample of what your business offers. Now, you have a chance to stay in touch with them to continue building that relationship.

What are examples of lead magnets?

Examples of effective lead magnets include:

  • Free templates
  • Free trials
  • Free Product samples
  • E-newsletters
  • Free PDF guides
  • Email courses
  • Webinar or Video Masterclasses
  • Free consultations

Do you really need a lead magnet?

Still wondering if you should create a lead magnet?? The answer…YES, YES, YES, did you read the YES?

Kidding aside, understand that building your email list is HARD. After all, not a lot of people willingly give away their email addresses because they’re afraid of being spammed.

However, when you create a lead magnet that is attractive enough to them, you are demonstrating your value. This makes people much more willing to trust you.

Now, thanks to your lead magnet, you have people voluntarily submitting their email addresses, and you’re building your email list on autopilot.

That email list is an audience that you own — unlike your follower count on social media websites, where merciless algorithms could hide your content, or changing cultural trends could render the platform irrelevant.

5 Popular Examples of Lead Magnets Your Business Can Offer

We mentioned a few examples of lead magnets above but now let's go into a bit more detail on a few specifics.

Remember, the best lead magnet is one where the value is obvious and that’s simple for you to put together. Anything too obscure might not generate the interest you want it to; anything too complicated might be more trouble to put together than its worth

Detailed Examples of Lead Magnets:

1. PDF Guides:

You can create an easy-to-follow guide on a topic within your industry that your followers can download directly from your website site.

Think about a specific topic you really understand well. Consider common questions you are often asked. Organize that knowledge for someone and offer it as a downloadable resource.

2. Webinar or Video Masterclasses:

You can record an educational webinar or video tutorial, which could cover similar information as a guide but in a format that’s more appealing to visual/auditory learners.

Like a guide, you could offer this as a downloadable resource. But, you can also organize a live webinar to offer the information and then offer up the recording afterward to people who didn't attend.

3. Email Courses:

Unlike a PDF or webinar, an email course teaches your audience something over the course of several emails. This can hold their interest for up to a week (or longer), leaving a greater impression on them.

A good example of this is the popular Copy That course, or Showit's new SEO Simplified course. Both of these involve entering your email and then over the course of several days, a piece of the content is delivered to your inbox.

As for what to actually teach, again, think about what you REALLY understand that is tough for others to grasp. Put together 5 emails each with a different mini-lesson.

4. A Quiz:

Embed a quiz on your site to help your audience figure out which of your products is the best fit for them (or simply for fun). Either way, a quiz is interactive and gives you insights into your audience based on their responses.

5. A Checklist:

Your downloadable option doesn’t have to be a guide — it could simply be a list that helps people complete a specific task by offering expert insight and ensuring they don’t overlook anything.

These are just a few more detailed breakdowns of some popular options. Later, we'll talk about helpful tools you can use to create and deliver lead magnets. For now, though, we hope you're feeling inspired.

If you want more inspiration, you can check out this article written by online marketing expert Amy Porterfield all about choosing the right lead magnet for your audience.

Here's How to Create a Lead Magnet

How to create a lead magnet and valuable freebies.

Because lead magnets can vary so much, your process to create one isn’t going to be a cookie-cutter operation. You’ll be creating something custom that works for you, your brand, and your audience.

But there are a few primary steps you’ll want to follow no matter which format you choose….

1. Choose the Right Lead Magnet for Your Audience

If you're wondering “How do I choose a lead magnet?” here's the low down.

By this point in your business, you likely already have an audience persona your marketing is aimed at.

Using the information you have about your audience, as well as the topic you’re going to cover, choose the best format for your lead magnet.

For example:

If you need a lead magnet for a fitness coach.

  • Audience: Individuals looking to get fit or improve their health.
  • Lead Magnet Example: A 7-day workout plan.
  • Format: PDF or printable guide.
  • Platform: Canva for designing a professional and visually appealing guide.

If you need a lead magnet for a digital marketing agency.

  • Audience: Small business owners looking to improve their online presence.
  • Lead Magnet Example: A checklist of must-have SEO techniques.
  • Format: Checklist or cheat sheet.
  • Platform: Google Docs for easy creation and sharing.

If you need a lead magnet for an E-commerce store:

  • Audience: Shoppers interested in discounts and new products.
  • Lead Magnet Example: A discount code for first-time buyers.
  • Format: Coupon code.
  • Platform: Google or Facebook ads to easily tell people about your offer.

Once you decide on a format, you can usually assemble your freebie pretty quickly with a platform such as Canva, Interact, or Loom. Remember that your freebie doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. Yes, it should be valuable and reflect a standard of professionalism, but you’re giving this to your customers for free. It doesn’t need to be anything more than a quick win.

2. Create an Opt-In Form for Your Site Using BDOW!

How to create a lead magnet BDOW Image!

To get the freebie you’ve created, your leads will need to opt in by providing their email address.

This is the goal, offering a lead magnet without collecting an email address is like a coffee shop giving away coffee because they forgot to set up their card reader.

The lead magnet is free monetarily but the “currency” you want in exchange is the lead's email address.

Our favorite way to set this up? By using a lead capture tool like BDOW!

Sure, there are tons of tools that can do this, but we love BDOW! because just like Showit websites, BDOW! forms and pop-ups are fully customizable to look just as good as your website. They also offer the ability to track what matters. Things like conversion rates, revenue generated, and views. You can also do simple A/B testing to see which offers get the best results. BDOW! also integrates seamlessly with Showit websites.

Other recommendations we have are email marketing platforms like Flodesk and ConvertKit (both of which also integrate with your website!).

Whichever tool you decide to use, the important takeaway is that you have a way to collect email addresses. IT'S A BIG DEAL!!!

3. Embed the Lead Magnet on Your Website

Create a lead magnet

Ok, now you have your freebie itself. You also have the opt-in form that feeds addresses directly to your email marketing platform. All you have to do is embed everything into your website.

If you are a Showit user, this process is pretty simple. You can follow this help doc here for integrating BDOW! formerly Sumo. If you get stuck here, you can contact support who are always happy to help you get your site exactly the way you want it.

You can also reference this doc for help with integrating other types of forms into your Showit site.

If you use a different website platform, there should be a way for you to embed the form onto that platform.

Think about different ways to offer your lead magnet, you can have a dedicated landing page with a form already visible, or, you can set a form to pop up after someone spends a set amount of time on your site.

Play around with these and decide which one works better for you.

4. Promote Your Lead Magnet

How do you promote your new lead magnet?

Well, there are a few approaches you can take. One option is to use social media like Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. If your website gets enough traffic, you could simply set up a popup form and offer the lead magnet that way. Finally, you can run paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google.

All of these options have their strengths and weaknesses and you could reasonably use a combination of them to promote your lead magnet.

If you have a large enough following on social media and you get a decent amount of organic traffic to your website, then you could use those methods effectively.

If you don't have a lot of organic traffic to your platform yet, you may need to invest a modest amount of money into running a few paid ads to help drive people to the lead magnet on your website.

An Important note on paid ads. If you decide to run them, spend time learning about platforms like Google and Facebook ads. They can be very effective, but they can also be a good way to waste a ton of money IF you aren't careful about how you set them up.

Spend some time taking a course, watching some YouTube videos, or even working with a pro just to help you get started. This way you can make sure paid ads will work for you and not against you.

Swipe These Free Lead Magnet Templates

Because lead magnets are so valuable, we want to give you a few FREE resources you can use to start creating and promoting your lead magnets.

If you need some inspiration on creating an actual lead magnet, our friends at BDOW! want to hook you up with a lead magnet template. You can check that out here.

How to create a lead magnet BDOW! freebies.

Here are a few helpful tools to think about using to create your lead magnet.

  • Canva: Use this to do simple graphic design to create things like PDF downloads and guides
  • Loom: Use Loom to create screen recordings to demonstrate something.
  • ConvertKit: Use this to build email marketing automation to deliver your lead magnet to someone once they've given you their email address.
  • Google Sheets: You can use sheets to create checklists and resources along those lines.
  • BDOW!: You can use BDOW! to set up forms and popups on your website that will allow you to gather useful data.
  • Showit: You can use Showit to create a website and landing pages that reflect your unique brand, offering, and voice.
  • Google Ads: Use this to help get your offer in front of more people quicker.
  • Facebook Ads: Similar to Google Ads, use this to promote your lead magnet to a large audience on Facebook.

Important note, working with paid ads platforms can be a bit complicated if you aren't familiar with them. Specifically Google and Facebook ads can sometimes be tricky and it's easy to waste money if you aren't careful. Because of this, you may want to consider asking someone to help you who does have experience working with these tools.

You can also find courses on platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, or even YouTube. Just make sure you gain a bit of insight into how these tools work before spending money on them.

Start Generating Interest with a Lead Magnet Today!

That’s all it takes to start generating those oh-so-important leads: create a lead magnet, set up an opt-in form, embed it into your website, and start gathering people’s email addresses so you can market directly to them. Everything you need to build your audience. If you are looking for some extra resources,

At Showit, we recognize the great opportunity that a small business such as yours gets from lead generation, so we make it easy to build a website with lead gen in mind. Give Showit a try for yourself to see what we mean — we offer a free, 14-day trial with no obligation, so sign up today!

Showit is a drag and drop website platform with a free trial at
Mike O'Rangers